Written in January 2021
In need of some fresh air, I set out in the cold and wet to buy a few groceries from the local store. As I waited in the distanced queue, an elderly gentleman in a cloth cap paused at the doors and waved at the checkout lass who was looking after us all. She was busy serving and didn't see him, so he talked to me. I couldn't hear him through his mask and I hope he could see the smiling eyes above mine and my hand reaching out towards him, without touching. I was next in line and told the lass as soon as I got near and pointed towards the gentleman as we watched his back go through the doors. She knew him and shared how they always chat and how this is the only human contact he has at the moment. I mentioned how smart he looked with his shoes polished to a high shine. I choked up and couldn't speak. I looked at her plastic face shield decorated with unicorn and star stickers and our eyes locked as we both paused for a few moments till I had recovered.
During the evening on a train recently, I sat knitting a sock with the tiny circular needle I love to use. I glanced up to see a young lad mesmerised and looking sad. All the loving hours in the past spent with the woman in my family and with friends, go into each stitch now. 'If you are thinking of making me a birthday pressie, could I have some socks?' is becoming a familiar refrain from loved ones. I regret not having the courage to reach out to the young lad and offer to knit him a pair.
Mum and I have started to tackle the sale of Dad's beautifully made model steam engines, tools and parts in his workshops. This is a lifetime's collection; some complete, others part-built or part-assembled and not all necessarily in the same place. 'Us girls' are flying a bit blind on this, yet loving energy is building momentum and we nurture ourselves with laughter, pausing to acknowledge each step forward and rewards with absorbing films and yummy food. Fudge may also feature...
We are hugely grateful to the souls we are connecting with and the stories that are being shared. Loving grace is flowing and these beloved pieces are going to new homes where they are appreciated and will bring many happy hours of building, painting and running on steam. Photos and videos are being shared, memories made and new friendships built. It is all underpinned by trust, kindness and patience. A large and heavy engine was being collected recently and through our masks and across the workshops, we managed to locate the items needed to complete it. I have a heart memory of three engineers as we paused for a cuppa outside, with their mobile phones held out so they could share photos of their latest projects. Two full-sized engines (think Fred Dibnah) were on home driveways, one was in a workshop and the one being collected was destined for completion in a dining room. My heartfelt empathy for the women in these homes.
Many blessings are being shared and loving energy is created.